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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Breakfast Club – 25 Years Later

The Breakfast Club (High School Reunion Collection)
Last Monday, 9/20/2010, cast members of the original movie The Breakfast Club attended a 25th anniversary screening of that classic landmark movie.

I was 16 when that movie came out, and it changed my life – the little bit of it that I’d lived up till then – because I felt that someone had accurately captured what it meant to be a teenager.

That "someone" was the late writer and director of that movie, and several others within the genre, John Hughes.

While I could relate to each of the characters, I only aspired to one and that was John Bender – “The Rebel” portrayed by Judd Nelson. While I thought he was so cool, I knew that I could never be that persona – I was more like the character of Brian Johnson – “The Brain” portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall only I had worse grades.

I wanted to be the bad boy, since that was the guy that every girl seemed to want to date and hang out with for some reason. I just didn’t have his “screw you” attitude; I simply cared too much about what my teachers thought of me. So much so, that I was voted “teacher’s pet” my senior year – how pathetic is that. So during high school, I guess I was a reluctant Brain with bad-behavioral aspirations. Curse those teachers for being so good at their jobs!!!

Anyway back to the movie, the two characters that just annoyed the heck out of me then and now were the characters of Andy Clark – “The Jock” and Claire Standish – “The Prom Queen” which were played by Emilio Estevez and Molly Ringwald respectively. I couldn’t stand either of their incessant whining and two-dimensional charactitures. The sad thing is that I’ve continued to see the same two-dimensional personas posing in the hallways everywhere I’ve worked since.

Over the years, I’ve strived to continue to grew into my own skin and personality – which is now probably closest to the character of Allison Reynolds – “The Recluse” played by Ally Sheedy, albeit without the dandruff on the drawing or scary mascara job. Regardless, I guess she would be the character that I most relate to now.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic movie, please join me in taking the survey I’ve posted alongside the right hand rail of this blog page and let us know which character did you most relate to when you first saw the Breakfast Club???

6 comments:

  1. Tor

    I loved and identified with this movie, just as you did. Conversely, I have never seen the 2 dimensional stereotypes in my life, in fact quite the opposite is true for me. I had a conversation with a very popular, wealthy, and gorgeous girl I went to school with, a decade after we were out, and she insisted that she wasn't aloof in school, she was just shy. She had the same teenage angst as every other person in the building. She married the 2nd person she dated and has been happily married for 23 plus years. That lesson had been invaluable to me as a parent. Get comfortable in your skin quickly and High School will be far more enjoyable.

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  2. @Bill, that's a fair point you raise - perhaps I'm being overly judgemental. Thanks for the perspective, insight and comment!

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  3. Tor -
    It probably comes as NO surprise to you that not only is "The Breakfast Club" one of my all-time favorite movies, but also that I've seen it so many times that I could probably quote the entire movie word-for-word. Only Aaron will watch it with me; but then again, he pretty much knows it by heart as well.

    (How many other people would have watched the TV-version on TBS, only to instantly recognize a couple of scenes that were NOT in the original release or DVD version?)

    What strikes me is that my son and I can BOTH enjoy - and relate to - this movie. Perhaps at different levels, but nevertheless, a generation apart. And the outstanding soundtrack is nearly unequalled in a movie of this genre.

    A testament to the story - and the genius of John Hughes.

    RIP, John.

    ~gbr

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  4. @GBR, great post - I would have expected nothing less from you and AR! Next time you guys are here we'll retreat to the man cave for a screening of TBC!

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  5. A truly awesome movie. I'm not sure which character I was, partly in fact that there were no middle of the road average kids in the Shermer Illinois High School Library! They were all an extreme whether it be an Athlete, Prom Queen, Brain, Basket case, or a criminal. Where were the kids with B averages who played some sports fairly well, weren't discipline cases, and never had a shot at prom royalty? I guess they dont end up in Saturday detention lol

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  6. @AR, very funny dude - great post!!!

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